Whipple tallied a game high seven points
Whipple tallied a game high seven points

Spartans Overcome Five Goal Deficit to Defeat Colorado Mesa

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla. – Conor Whipple found Kyle Hemrick for the game-winning goal with 3:08 remaining in the fourth quarter to help the No. 5 University of Tampa cap its largest comeback in program history to defeat Colorado Mesa University 10-9 Wednesday night at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex. With the win, the Spartans improves to 9-1, while the Mavericks falls to 3-1 on the season.

Colorado Mesa struck first as David Solomon found Daniel Caddoo cutting towards the cage for a goal to give the Mavericks a 1-0 lead. Tampa responded minutes later as Chance Smith picked up the ground ball, off a Jake Rooney shot, and put a shot past the goalie to even the score at 1-1 with 6:36 remaining in the first quarter.  After a Colorado Mesa goal, Brian Patton dodged towards the cage and scored an unassisted goal to even the score 2-2 after the opening period.

Colorado Mesa came out strong in the second quarter scoring four unanswered goals, including two man-up goals, to give the Mavericks a 6-2 lead at the break. 

The Mavericks extended their lead in the third quarter as Eric McCosker netted a transition goal to give Colorado Mesa a 7-2 lead.  Trevor Calleja won the ensuing faceoff and on the Spartans possession Whipple scored an unassisted goal.  Tampa took advantage of a Mavericks penalty, Whipple connected with Mike Morris for a man-up goal to cut the lead to 7-4.  Whipple dished out two more assists to Patton and Rooney to cut the deficit to 7-6 with 3:14 remaining in the third period.  Jake Douglas scored an unassisted goal to give Colorado Mesa an 8-6 edge after three quarters. 

Less than a minute into the fourth quarter Matt Bilak netted a goal to cut the lead to 8-7.  Colorado Mesa scored a goal to take a 9-7 lead with 13:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. A minute later Morris caused a turnover in Mavericks territory, picked up the ground ball, and found Whipple cutting towards the cage for a goal.  Calleja won the ensuing possession and connected with Whipple for the equalizer with 12:04 remaining.  The score remained that way until the 3:08 mark when Whipple found Hemrick for the game-winning goal. 

Whipple led the Spartans with three goals and four assists, while Patton netted a pair of goals.  Morris tallied a goal, an assist, and three caused turnovers in the win.

Calleja went 16-22 from the X and picked up nine ground balls, while Marty Heyn forced three turnovers.

Shane Giunta made 10 saves in the cage and earned his first collegiate win.  

The Spartans will return to action Saturday, March 28, when they host Saint Leo in a SSC match-up.  Game time is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. This will be the Spartans final regular season home-game of the season. Live stats and a video webcast will be available through TampaSpartans.tv.

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